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SPCA sees spike of pets left in hot cars as heat wave continues

(iStock Photo)

SPCA has responded to nearly 600 calls so far this year

Dog died in Port Coquitlam last week after being left in a hot car

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – For another day it is going to be incredibly hot in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as a thick haze of wildfire smoke hangs above. If you think you’re struggling to deal with the poor air quality, imagine what it’s like for a cat or dog.

The BC SPCA is using the rough conditions to warn people to stop taking risks with their furry friends.

The agency’s Lori Chortyk can’t understand why people take their dogs or cats with them when they leave the house, potentially putting their pets in danger. “And it’s so tragic because these are completely preventable deaths.”

Chortyk adds they’ve dealt with nearly 600 cases so far this year of pets being left in hot cars and she expects more calls to come in. However, she says dealing with the loss of a pet could be just the start of it. “People also need to realize if they put their animals in that kind of danger that does fall under the animal cruelty laws.”

Over this past weekend she says they responded to 23 calls for pets in left in hot cars, which is three times more when compared to the same weekend as last year.

Chortyk says it doesn’t take very long for your dog, for example, to become a statistic. “We really have to stress to people that if they love their pet then leave them at home because even if you park your car in the shade, even if you have the windows rolled down, even if you’re only gone a few minutes — that’s all it takes for an animal to suffer from heat stroke.”

She adds it takes just minutes for your car to heat up, potentially killing your pet.